Adjustment of Status (AOS) is the procedure used to apply for a green card from within the United States. Even if your visa runs out before receiving your green card, you can use AOS to stay in the United States while your application is being reviewed. The boundless proposal provides support for status adjustment without charging a premium.
Consular processing, used when submitting a green card application from outside the United States, is an alternative to AOS. The American embassy will handle your application if you apply for a green card through consular processing. You will remain outside of the country until your application is accepted. If you decide to use consular processing, Boundless can also assist with preparing your green card application.
The criteria for receiving a green card are the same for both AOS and consular processing, but they differ in terms of application forms, prices, and schedules. You should consider the procedure that best suits your unique situation. You can use the Boundless simple test to choose the right path.
Status adjustment through marriage:
If you are a B-1/B-2 visa holder, your path to obtaining a marriage green card will be based on whether your spouse is a citizen of the United States or a holder of a green card.
Let’s examine both routes in greater detail:
- If you are married to a U.S. Citizen:
You must take the same processes as most other spouses married to U.S. Citizens currently reside in the country if you want to apply for a green card through Adjustment of Status and marry a U.S. citizen.
The following forms must be submitted first by both you and your spouse, usually at the same time;
- Form I-130, usually known as the “Petition for Alien Relative,” is the family sponsorship form that your spouse, a U.S. citizen, must fill out and sign.
- You, the B-1/B-2 visitor, must complete and sign the green card application or Form I-485 (formally known as the “Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status”).
You married your American spouse “in good faith” especially; you did not marry to obtain a green card, which you must demonstrate to the U.S. government. You should be able to get your green card within 5 to 16 months of the time USCIS receives your application package.
As a B-1/B-2 visitor, remember that you’ll also want to watch out for the 90-day rule, which could result in a finding that you misrepresented your intentions when you first entered the country.
If you hold a B-1/B-2 visa, you can return home and complete the consular processing portion of your green card application. In this instance, the local U.S. consulate or embassy will handle the processing of your application.
Boundless assists you with your whole spousal visa application from the time it is submitted until you acquire your green card for a fixed fee of $995, which includes all necessary paperwork and supporting documentation, independent attorney review, and support. Find out more regarding what you obtain with boundless without disclosing personal or financial information, or check your eligibility.
- If you are married to a green card holder:
The family sponsorship form, also known as Form I-130, must be submitted by your spouse if you intend to apply for a green card via Adjustment of Status after marrying a person who already has one. Spouses of American citizens are instantly eligible for visas, but spouses of people with green cards are not.
The following action needs to be taken whether your visa number becomes available before or after your B-1/B-2 visa expires:
- You will be able to stay in the U.S and apply for a green card using Form I-485 (formerly called the “Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status”). Your green card will be delivered to you after the application is granted.
- Suppose a visa number becomes available after your visa expires. In that case, you will need to leave the country and apply for a green card through consular processing, using the same procedure as most other spouses who are married to green card holders and are residing abroad.
Unless you can obtain a B-1/B-2 visa extension or another sort of temporary visa (such as an F-1 student visa) to remain lawfully in the country, you must follow the procedure for spouses residing in the country and married to a person who has a green card.
Remember, even if you’ve already started the application process, you can move to the process for spouses of U.S. citizens if your green card holder spouse becomes a citizen of the country while you’re awaiting a visa number.
Requirement of status adjustment through marriage:
The following are the primary requirements that a foreign spouse must fulfill;
- Be physically present in the United States, regardless of whether one has a valid or expired non-immigrant visa.
- Have most recently arrived in the United States legally. The sole prerequisite is that you initially entered the country with a valid visa or visa waiver. You can still be eligible if you are currently in the country on overstayed access.
- Be accepted for entry into the United States; probable barring conditions include a criminal record.
Status adjustment through employment:
Accepting an employment-based immigrant petition is one of the two major routes to gaining lawful permanent resident status;
- Referred to as a green card in the U.S.
- The other common pathway is through a family-based immigrant petition.
Some employment-based immigration petitions may be self-petitioned. However, most such petitions call for a sponsoring U.S. firm or petitioner (such as an EB-1 Extraordinary Ability petition). There are different requirements for the employment-based immigrant petition depending on what type of employment-based preference category the petition is being filed.
However, the submission and subsequent approval of the employment-based immigration petition does not provide the foreign national status as a lawful permanent resident. Foreign nationals who have an employment-based petition approved on their behalf and if/when their priority date is current may apply for adjustment status from within the U.S or pursue their lawful permanent residence status through Immigrant Visa Processing (IVP) from abroad. Sometimes the documentation for the adjustment of status can be submitted along with the petition for an immigrant based on employment.
Requirement of employment adjustment status:
The main prerequisites for a foreign national to apply for adjustment of status from within the U.S based on their approved employment-based immigrant petition are to be present in the U.S physically and to have last entered the U.S. lawfully. Immigration official), and to be admissible to the United States (A prior criminal record may impact a foreign national’s eligibility).
Foreign nationals can be eligible to apply for lawful permanent residence status through Immigrant Visa Processing even if they are not present in the United States physically or did not enter the country legally.